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Comment Re: Patriot (Score 1) 199

I am really puzzled why publicly they would say one thing, while privately they believe something else.

In the last election, Republicans were orders of magnitude quieter (and less violent) than Democrats. Because they didn't fancy their cars being keyed, etc.

The control systems are maintained not because people don't understand them, but because they are afraid to speak out against them.

Comment Re:There's a saying in the software industry~ (Score 2) 388

It is a good saying, but could use some elaboration.

Most change is bad. Because most have not thought through all the ramifications, and/or have not implemented the change well.

Most change is bad, because most of us have major weaknesses and blindspots. Adding someone else to the design team usually doesn't help, because what you gain with a second pair of eyes and second brain is countered by a second set of major weaknesses and blindspots. Get a group involved, and your project is totally doomed.

I think "insanely great" was a good phrase. To do something great was insanely difficult, took insane amounts of thought and effort and will. And when it all came together, it was ...insanely great.

A bridge is constrained. It rarely gets changed. It just works. Software is only partially constrained and so how we choose to work around/with constraints varies by person, by company, by decade, etc. The tyranny of choice works against good design. Hence my saying "An engineer is an artist with constraints."

The software industry has a conflict of interest. If they helped us all implement great stuff everywhere, we wouldn't come around every year with a fresh stack of money. So they implement code monstrosities, standards clusterfzcks, organizing bodies designed to bury bodies, and all while aspiring to Comcastic levels of monopoly, rather than succeeding on their merits. Embrace, extend, extinguish doesn't go down well with end users. Embrace, extend, improve forever (i.e. kaizen) would...but is rarely done. And when it is done, it becomes invisible.

Invisible software gets so good, that there are few if any bugs. It automates everything involved, so no one curses it. It saves time and manpower so management is happy. But the overall effect of all three of these effects is for people to stop thinking about it. It dies, as a "project", from working too well.

Change, i.e. churn, or turns, or flips, is necessary to people who want to get paid steadily. Solving problems is thankless work. End users are usually not sophisticated enough to appreciate it, and managers hate it because it makes them look bad (or not needed).

Life sucks, because we are all, for the most part, unenlightened. Selfish. Out for ourselves. Dog eat dog.

Yet find a place where you can do great things...and then do them...and you will be back on the unemployment line.

So ignorance is bliss. Ignorance of our own weaknesses will increase ourhappiness.

So, do you want happiness, or better stuff?

Comment Re:The Market at Work (Score 1) 144

Another key example of "earlier in the pipeline" is when you type into the Google search box and it starts suggesting results.

IMO, people should be much more concerned about this as it requires no screen scraping but merely a reason (probably economic) to favor one web site over another. With just 5 or 6 results showing for each keypress, few will detect a "foul" result.

Google can now inject all manner of agendized or incentivized results -- and is probably doing so -- and I have yet to see any one complain about it.

It preys on laziness, and ignorance. At least this example of screen scraping delivers something better -- the right answer, faster -- to the end user.

Comment Re:Similar to my experience. But why is FF so bad? (Score 1) 236

Just load Task Manager and you'll see why Firefox drains the battery. CPU utilization is crazy with Firefox. Routinely using 2 to 3 of my 4 cores. I'll stop working, with the most trivial of pages loaded, and wait for the CPU storm to die down.

Nothing makes a system feel more bogged down as well.

I forget what I was doing the other day. Nothing fancy, maybe video, and with a single tab the browser was using a gig of memory. Close browser, open it, load same page. Gig of memory.

Suckage, thy name is Firefox.

Comment Re:I miss software that works. (Score 3, Insightful) 467

Progress has never been connected to one generation of hardware over another.

I worked on an amazingly elaborate and Internet-preceding...TRS Model III BBS.

I did all kinds of things on 8088s. And 80286/80386s. And 486s, Pentiums, K9, Core 2's & quads. etc.

At no time did I wish I was only working with one generation of machine. Or one era of software, for that matter.

Celebration is all about "what were you up to". I've always been up to all kinds of things, and computers of all eras simply helped me do that.

The Internet routes around dictators and control freaks.

Geeks route around crap hardware and/or software.

If you want to celebrate something, celebrate computer geeks. If it wasn't for several generations of them, we all wouldn't be having this ole chat.

Comment Re:Sad (Score 1) 50

2.2 Who did it first? Newton or Leibniz?

Because of the mass of Newton's surviving papers, it has now been established beyond doubt that Newton was the first to arrive at the calculus. He first developed his theory of "fluxions" in 1665-66. By the middle of 1665, Newton was able to set down the standard differential algorithms in the generality with which they were to be expounded by Leibniz two decades later. Further, this demonstrates that Newton could not have plagiarised anything from Leibniz precisely because of the fact that around 1665-66, Leibniz, at the age of twenty, still knew nothing of mathematics.

Source

Comment Re:Math is about right (Score 1) 55

I do exactly the same thing, for a variety of reasons.

One is that I have memorized the hundred odd channels that I like to track on a daily basis. Here are some additional reasons to not go HD, or for the latest and greatest.

(1) the commercials also get HD'd. This is a pure negative.

I have the older Comcast set top box at home, but test-drove the newer one at a client's residence. I don't like a number of features about the new box, but here are some of the worst things: (2) you can't minimize the broadcast to a corner while you scan through the guide. With the new box the guide takes over the screen, so you tend to use it and dismiss it. At home I bring up the guide right after I mute the sound...when the commercials start. Once the commercials are done, I dismiss the guide. A handy way of visually muting commercials.

(3) On the old box/remote, when I hit "Last", I go to my last channel. On the new box, it brings up a list of half a dozen recent channels, and I have to spend time making decisions and selections I usually don't feel like taking the time to make. Repeatedly. At every commercial break.

(4) The old guide has an ad at the bottom only -- much easier to ignore automatically. On the crappy new guide, the advertising segments are dispersed into the content. Slowly the frequent activity of seeing "what else is on", while the commercials play.

(5) I only need HD for sports. For other stuff, the actual content is far more important. A crappy movie in HD is a great movie in SD.

(6) Thinking the latest is the greatest is incredibly naive. The worst possible assumption. Windows 10 taught us that, surely.

Comment Yes, these are also my reasons as well (Score 5, Insightful) 370

Yes, these are also my reasons for not wanting to go to a movie theater.

1. The big screen.

There is nothing like watching something awful on a REALLY big screen.

2. People everywhere.

Right, a major bummer. Could even be #1.

3. Focus.

A complete lack of focus is pretty much a certainty in a stinky, noisy, blurry-screen theater.

4. Relentlessness. Part of the advantage of that kind of focus is that movies that are tense, scary, or deeply emotional can cast much more of a spell over you...

Yes, a big screen and (5) below will intensify the worst parts of the average garbage movie.

5. A massive speaker system.

No one in their right mind wants this. And after I was assaulted (damaging my hearing), I want this much much less than the average person.

6. Previews.

Spoilers.

7. Disruption.

Disruption.

8. Alone time.

Did you mean this in the Pee Wee Herman sense of the phrase?

9. 32 ounces of cola in the dark.

In a dark suit?

32 ounces of diabetes is not my idea of fun.

10. Bragging rights.

Stupid brags as stupid does.

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